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Numbers: An Introduction and Commentary

Numbers: An Introduction and Commentary

Gordon J. Wenham

| IVP | 1981

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“Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah” is one of the best-known hymns in the world. Yet the book of Numbers, whose story that hymn summarizes, is seldom read. Why? “Its very title puts the modern reader off,” writes Gordon Wenham. “In ancient time numbers were seen as mysterious and symbolic, a key to reality and the mind of God himself. Today they are associated with computers and the depersonalization that threatens our society.” In his effort to bridge the great gulf between the book and our age, Wenham first explains the background of Numbers, discussing its structure, sources, date and authorship as well as its theology and Christian use. A passage-by-passage analysis follows, which draws useful insights on Old Testament ritual from modern social anthropology.

Author Bio

Gordon J. Wenham (1943–) is recognized as an expert on the Pentateuch. He studied theology at Cambridge University and went on to do Old Testament research at King’s College, London. He also spent time at Harvard University and in Jerusalem at the Ecole Biblique and the Hebrew University. Along with currently teaching Old Testament at Trinity College, Wenham leads Trinity’s pilgrimages and study tours to the Holy Land. He has held teaching positions and served as visiting lecturer at several institutions around the world.

From 1995 to 2005, Wenham was Professor of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire, where he now holds the title Professor Emeritis. Wenham also taught Old Testament at Queen’s University in Belfast.

Some of Wenham’s publications include the volume on Genesis in Word Biblical Commentary, the Numbers volume in the Tyndale Commentariesthe Pentatech volume of Exploring the Old Testament, and the volume on Leviticus in The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament.